Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Sublime Pineapple Custard

This is easily one of the most delicious desserts I have ever made - don't be put off by the lengthy instructions, it's not difficult at all, Anne.

Foods of the World: Latin American Cooking by Jonathan Norton Leonard, photographs by Milton Greene, Time-Life Books 1970

Pineapple Custard: Quesillo de Piña

To serve 6 to 8

The Caramel: 200g castor sugar; 6 tblspns water

The Custard: 3 whole eggs, plus 2 egg yolks; a 395g can condensed milk; 250ml pineapple juice; 3 tblspn sugar

To line a 1.5 litre metal or china mould with caramel, it is necessary to work quickly. Remember in handling the caramel that its temperature will be over 150°C, so be extremely careful with it. 

Place the mould on a large strip of waxed paper. Then, in a small, heavy saucepan or frying pan, bring the sugar and water to the boil over a high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil the syrup over a moderate heat, gripping a pot holder in each hand and gently tipping the pan to and fro almost constantly, until the syrup turns a rich, golden, tea-like brown. This may take 10 minutes or more. As soon as the syrup reaches the right colour, remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour the caramel syrup all at once into the mould. Still using the pot holders, tip and swirl the mould to coat the bottom and sides as evenly as possible. When the syrup stops moving, turn the mould upside down on the greaseproof paper to drain and cool.

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Beat the eggs and egg yolks with a balloon whisk or a rotary egg beater in a large mixing bowl until they thicken and turn a light yellow. Gradually pour in the condensed milk, pineapple juice and sugar, and beat until all the ingredients are well blended. Strain through a fine sieve into the caramel-lined mould, and place the mould in a large pan on the middle shelf of the oven.

Pour enough boiling water into the pan to come half-way up the sides of the mould. Bake the custard for about 1 hour, until a knife inserted in the centre of the custard comes out clean. Remove the mould from the water, let it cool to room temperature, then refrigerate the custard for at least 3 hours, until thoroughly chilled.

When ready to serve, run a sharp knife around the sides, and dip the bottom of the mould briefly in hot water. Place a chilled serving plate upside down over the mould and, grasping mould and plate together firmly, quickly turn them over. Rap the plate on a table and the custard should slide easily out of the mould. Pour any extra caramel remaining in the mould over the custard.

“A Matchless Bounty of Tropical Fruits: Every Latin American cuisine, and in particular that of Mexico, features a year-round abundance of wonderful fruit. In the markets of most countries there is an endless display of fruits big and small, of every colour and almost every shape.”  

“Pineapples were cultivated by Pre-Columbian Indians in the Caribbean region, and sometimes the thorny, sharp-pointed plants were massed around their villages like barbed-wire entanglements to ward off intruders. . . None of the forms in which pineapples reach their markets in temperate countries gives a true idea of what they are like in their native tropics. Canned pineapple tastes canned, and even frozen pineapple is not like the real thing. . . A prime pineapple ripened on the plant is in a wholly different class. In Mexico pineapples as big as footballs sell for a shilling or less, and they are so fragrant that one of them perfumes an entire room.”

“With sugar so abundant, it is no wonder that the Latin Americans candy almost everything. Candied fruits are cheap and plentiful in the markets, including some kinds that are hard to identify. . . Closely related to candied fruits are the delightful fruit pastes that are found almost everywhere in Latin America. They usually contain nothing but fruit pulp and sugar and can be made semi-solid like thick jam or stiff enough to be cut with a knife. All kinds of available fruit are used.” Jonathan Norton Leonard

1 comment:

  1. Oh, *yum*. I'm a bit afraid of boiling sugar, but it looks totally worth it for the result.